Lazy to Brush Teeth Can Cause Cancer?

3 Nov

Never underestimate oral hygiene. More recently, scientists in Sweden found that the increase in dental plaque has been associated with the risk of early death from cancer.

This study is an observational study published online in the British Medical Journal Open, involving 1390 people between 1985 and 2009. At baseline, all participants were asked related factors likely to increase the risk of cancer, including assessing their oral hygiene.

After a span of 24 years, 58 patients died and 35 of them from cancer. Those who died had a significantly amount of dental plaque much more. Dental plaque index in participants who have died than those who are still alive.

The researchers noted that participants who died had an index score of between 0.84 to 0.91 – which suggests that the area covered gums on dental plaque – while they were still alive had lower scores from 0.66 to 0.67 – indicating plaque coverage only part of it.

The average age of death was 61 years for women and 60 years for men. Researchers think the women should be able to live about 13 years longer, and men 8.5 years longer, so that they could be considered premature death, the researchers said.

“Based on these findings, the high load of bacteria on the surface of the teeth and gingiva during a prolonged period may play a role in carcinogenesis,” the researchers said.

However, the authors caution that their findings do not prove that cause dental plaque as a cause of cancer. “The hypothesis of our study saw poor oral hygiene, as reflected in the number of dental plaque, is associated with increased mortality due to cancer,” he explained.

“Further research is needed to determine whether there is a causal factor in the observed association,” said the researchers.

Dental plaque indicating poor oral hygiene and is a potential source of infection, which is also linked to systemic health problems.


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